U.S. dismisses North Korean saber rattling

Aug. 21, 2012 at 10:43 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Military drills involving the United States and South Korean are seen as an act of provocation in the region, the North Korean government said.

U.S. and South Korean forces started a 12-day joint military exercise in the region featuring combined troop strength of around 86,000 soldiers. South Korean forces described the maneuvers as defensive in nature, the Yonhap news agency reports.

The news agency published a statement from the North Korean military, however, as describing the drills as an act of war.

"As it has become clearer that the nation's sovereignty and peace which are more valuable than one's own life can be guaranteed only by arms, the army and people of the DPRK will take physical counteraction any moment, unhindered, to safeguard its sovereignty and peace," the statement read.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, dismissed North Korea's statements as routine.

"These kinds of North Korean threats are not uncommon ... but obviously we would call on them to refrain from those kinds of bellicose statements," she said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm